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Why Forensic Psychology - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Due to Popularity of Television Dramas and Movies. Are there misconceptions about the ... Involves research that examines human behavior related to the legal system (eyewitness ...

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Presentation Transcript
So you want to be a

Forensic Psychologist!

why forensic psychology
Why Forensic Psychology?
  • Popularity
    • Dramatic Increase in Popularity
    • Due to Popularity of Television Dramas and Movies
  • Are there misconceptions about the field?
    • YES
    • Not everyone is a profiler or doing crime scene investigation.
forensic psychology
Forensic Psychology

What is forensic psychology?

Applicant of psychological knowledge to the civil and criminal justice systems.

Involves research that examines human behavior related to the legal system (eyewitness testimony, jury decisions, criminal behavior).

Also professional practice (mental health services for victims, child custody, competency evaluations, public policy).

Consists of clinical, applied and research activities.


areas of study in psychology




Industrial/ Organizational








Areas of Study in Psychology

Each area can contribute to the study of Forensic Psychology

other examples
Other Examples
  • A developmental psychologist may have determined that this boy is mature enough to be a credible witness
other examples6
Other Examples
  • Social psychology – study of the individual in the group
    • Social psychologists can work as trial consultants:
      • research on effects of pretrial publicity
      • jury selection
      • witness preparation
other examples7
Other Examples
  • Cognitive psychology – study of human thought (cognition)
    • Cognitive psychologists serve as expert witness on accuracy of eyewitness testimony, recovered memories and false memory syndrome
clinical evaluations
Clinical Evaluations
  • Insanity plea evaluations
  • Competency evaluations including
  • Child custody evaluations
  • Risk assessment
    • sexual predator evaluations
    • dangerousness
    • suicide risk assessments for inmates
  • Pre-employment evaluations for law enforcement candidates
  • Fitness-for-duty evaluations for law enforcement
  • Assessment of psychological injury for personal injury lawsuits
and yes
And Yes!
  • A legal psychologist may do a detailed crime scene analysis in an effort to identify the perpetrator’s “signature” of modus operandi
training and credentials in forensic psychology
Training and Credentials in Forensic Psychology
  • Many forensic psychologists are clinical (or counseling) psychologists
  • Ph.D. or the Psy.D in clinical or counseling psychology with specialized training in forensic work
    • usually post-doctoral work in the form of continuing education; possibly a forensic internship or fellowship
basic skills required beyond the academic degree
Basic skills required beyond the academic degree
  • Psychological Assessment Skills:
    • intellectual, personality and specialty areas, such as competency, violence potential, criminal responsibility, etc.
  • Strong writing skills:
    • Reports to the courts, lawyers, probation officers, etc.
  • Oral presentation skills:
    • Social presence when appearing as an expert witness


  • The American Psychology-Law Society is a
  • division of the American Psychological
  • Association (Division 41)and is comprised
  • of individuals interested in psychology and
  • law issues.
  • Student memberships are encouraged.
additional resources
Additional Resources
  • American Board of Forensic Psychology
  • American Psychological Association